Swiss Plateau

The major region of the Swiss plateau stretches from Lake Geneva to Lake Constance, and is the country’s most populated area. The large towns in the region are located below altitudes of 600 m above sea level, where the effects of increasing heat will become very apparent. This page provides insights into today’s climate in the Swiss plateau as well as detailed information about possible changes in the future.

A map of Switzerland is shown with the outline of the major region of Central Switzerland. It includes parts of the cantons of Geneva, Vaud, Freiburg, Bern, Solothurn, Lucerne, Zug, Zurich, Thurgau and St Gallen.
The biogeographical major region of Swiss Plateau (in green), according to the Federal Office for the Environment FOEN, used to develop regional climate scenarios.

Current climate

The climate of the Swiss Plateau is heavily influenced by the Atlantic and is therefore damp and mild. Nevertheless, in the cold half of the year, frost days are often recorded. Several dozen summer days and a few hot days occur in the summer. In an average year, 800-1,400 mm of precipitation falls. The volume of precipitation and the proportion falling as snow increases with proximity to the pre-Alps.

Climate Change Scenarios CH2018 - Swiss Plateau

If global greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase significantly, we can expect temperatures on the Swiss Plateau to rise by a further 2–3°C by the middle of the 21st century. This will mean a marked increase in the number of summer days, as well as in the number of tropical nights. Frost days will become less common. We can also expect winter precipitation to increase, and for it to fall more often as rain than snow because of rising temperatures. In contrast, the summer months will become drier.

Last modification 07.09.2023

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